Argentina’s thrilling World Cup final triumph over France set a new record for the number of Google searches, says the tech giant.
The South Americans won the trophy for the third time on Sunday afternoon in a thrilling match that saw Lionel Messi finally become world champion at the age of 35.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and its parent company Alphabet, wrote on Twitter: “Search recorded its highest ever traffic in 25 years during the final of #FIFAWorldCup, it was like the entire world was searching about one thing!”
Google does not publish complete data so it is not known exactly how many search queries were lodged around the time of the final.
But analysis of its trends report shows that searches for the term “World Cup” were approximately 50 per cent higher than the peak for the 2018 World Cup and more than twice as high as at the 2014 edition (see graph below).
The 2022 World Cup final has widely hailed as a classic and perhaps even the best ever.
It saw Messi, perhaps the greatest footballer of all time, win the one major title to have eluded him during his career in what he had said would be his last World Cup.
But France put up a brave fight to come back from 2-0 and then 3-2 down and force a penalty shootout, with their star Kylian Mbappe becoming only the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, after England’s Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966.
Argentina eventually prevailed 4-2 on penalties after a tense shootout in Qatar.
Meanwhile Messi could be on course to break internet records of his own, after his social media post celebrating the win caused a storm.
A picture of the Paris Saint-Germain star hoisting the trophy, with the caption “Campeones del mundo” – world champions – attracted 39m likes in just 12 hours on Instagram. The most-liked post of all time on the platform has 56m likes.